Our Nordic HR Director: We can be proud!

We met our Nordic HR Director, Maja Granborg, to talk about equal distribution of gender in our organisation, the importance of structural support, and why she herself is passionate about the financial industry.

In 2022, 51% of BNP Paribas Personal Finance employees in the Nordics are women. How do you feel that it contributes to BNP Paribas Personal Finance that there is a fairly equal distribution between men and women?

We can be proud of having a gender distribution of approximately 50/50 because it signals diversity. When you have a vast majority of one gender, I think you fail a little, because you miss out the potential. I recall a study conducted on 1,200 managers, who should rate which management skills they found most important.

The women clearly distinguished themselves by emphasising skills related to promoting well-being, dialogue and cooperation, whereas men focused on results and decision-making skills. Although it may sound a bit stereotypical, I think there is something to it.

When we manage to bring diverse people together and let them complement each other, the sky is the limit.


A 2020 survey in the financial sector shows that women at all organisation levels – from managers to new employees – express higher management ambitions than men. What do you think about that?

I think it is great but ambitions should not connect with gender. What I would highlight from the survey is that it reflects that women also feel entitled to become managers and to have ambitions. It should be obvious. But historically is has not been obvious because it has traditionally been women who went on maternity leave.

Working life today is much easier. We have equal opportunities to a larger extent with men and women sharing childcare leave – to the benefit of women AND men. Good intentions will not suffice; we need structural support to sustain this development.

What about your own path into the financial industry, would you share your story?

Yes, of course. My journey into the financial industry started in January 1995, when I joined Diners Club (former credit card & loyalty programme) as a Customer Service agent. At that point, the company was on its way into what became a number of mergers and acquisitions, and thereby became part of the financial industry.

Meanwhile I was recruited by another organisation, which organised high school programmes, language schools and au pair programmes, and I worked there for a couple of years until Diners Club called me and asked if I wanted to be part of a management programme. I accepted, took over the responsibility of the HR department, and since then I have worked with HR.

Over the years, I changed industry a couple of times, as I have worked in the transportation industry, at a law office, and eventually I returned to the financial industry when I joined BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

From an HR perspective, I find the financial industry particularly interesting, as you collaborate closely with trade unions. This framework is anything but stationary, which continues to challenge me and keep me on my toes. I really like that.